320kbps radio audio available via MPEG-DASH

Owen Smith owen.smith at cantab.net
Sat Jan 2 08:25:13 PST 2016

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tom" <madtom1999 at googlemail.com>
To: <get_iplayer at lists.infradead.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 02, 2016 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: 320kbps radio audio available via MPEG-DASH

> As far as I know no-one has ever been able to tell the difference between 
> CD and DAB let alone higher bitrates in double-blind testing.
> DAB is not in any sense inferior bitrate-wise though otherwise its a 
> complete con.
> Tom

Rubbish. At the current 128kbps MP2 that is used for DAB, it sounds pretty 
awful on good hifi. All life has been squeezed from the music, it just 
sounds dead. Comparing to CD is hard because you don't know what CD they're 

What I have done is compared Radio 2 FM vs. DAB vs. 128kbps AAC internet, 
and I can assure you the DAB is clearly the worst sounding. The FM vs. 
128kbps AAC internet are different, neither is better or worse and it does 
depend on how good your FM feed is.

I can do the FM vs. DAB comparison double blind, because my Arcam FM/DAB 
tuner has a button to switch between FM and DAB last stations. If I press it 
many times very quickly and don't look at the display I lose track of which 
it is playing and there's nothing to give it away if I cover the display 
with cardboard. Then I listen, make decisions about the sound, and remove 
the cardboard. I can always tell which is DAB and which FM, with the 
exception of Radio 3 when it's DAB is running at 192kbps MP2 and then I 
can't tell which is FM or DAB. Which clearly demonstrates the problem with 
DAB currently is the bit rates are far too low.

Owen Smith <owen.smith at cantab.net>
Cambridge, UK

More information about the get_iplayer mailing list